There are a number of things I’m thinking about as relate to the functioning of this blog, and the incipient nature of my identity being known. The more I write, the more people know me. Do I want to be known? The more I post my own images, the more others can pretend to have made them, themselves. Let’s not pretend this is not the Internet. I know that not everyone following this blog is doing it for kosher reasons. I also know that not everyone following this blog is actually human.
A post came up recently on encoding ownership and/or copyright and/or contact information on one’s images when posted. I…do not entirely recall how I ran across it, but it was information which I likely needed to know. I will have to either brush up on or learn how to embed identity information into my images. The problem with claiming copyright, though, is that to claim copyright, one has to acknowledge their own existence. When one acknowledges their existence, their existence can be mimicked. A reason why I generally don’t use my full legal name online.
I haven’t really posted any professional work on here, just college studies and stuff I’ve been working with on the side. Above all, this blog is here to be a place for me to record what I’m learning, so that it doesn’t turn out like University the first time around; with my forgetting what I’ve discovered; the process I went through; the places where I realized I was lacking information.
At the same time, though, knowing that there are people (actual people) who are reading what I’m writing, is a motivator. It wouldn’t really be the same to have a fully private blog, even though at that point I’d know that no one would be copying or distributing my images without my permission. I feel like if I did that, I’d be hiding from the world, and the two people I’ve known who really advocated that are both seriously paranoid. I know that my images can be taken. I also know that my work is my own. In addition, I realize that my strength lies in who I actually am and what I can actually do. The expressions are generated from me. They are not equivalent to me, and I will never be owned.
At this point I’m thinking that anyone who takes my images and claims them as their own, for any reason that matters (like getting a job) is just going to get burned when it’s found out that they can’t do it, don’t have the original, don’t have the original photos (in most cases). Not having the skill to redo the work is proof enough of copyright infringement. Not having full-res photos, not having uncropped photos, not having the original works, not having the practice sketches…these are things that at least I would watch out for, if I were an Art Director.
So on that count, I think I’m relatively safe where it comes to people nabbing things and claiming them as their own, especially as I’m still a student. And although these may be very strong works for my present situation, they’re not much compared to what I will eventually do. I’m just starting out. Knowing that these things I’ve published are in the wild pushes me to generate more. My images can be copied, but what generated them cannot be.
I’m thinking that I will continue to keep my full legal name offline. Putting it out there is just asking to be impersonated.
I’m also thinking that…I will continue to publish. What you see here is generated from who I am, at some very deep levels. But even though my readers have heard one version of the story, unless they’re very good actors and also psychologists, they still won’t be able to convincingly impersonate me. There’s too much left unsaid, and the question of qui bono is always open. In addition, anyone impersonating me to deface me is probably going to be a bit obvious about it, or else their point would be lost.
I’ve got to go now, but I think that this exercise has been a good one.